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May 21, 2009

Airport to Nowhere, Part II?

Who knew Rep. Mike Michaud (D, ME) was so powerful? After all, John Murtha (D, PA) only got $800,000 for his airport.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Northern Maine Regional Airport in Presque Isle is getting $2.5 million in federal stimulus money to extend its parallel taxiway.

The announcement Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud said the project will provide the airport with a full parallel taxiway, improving operational safety and efficiency.

Michaud goes on to say the funds will create jobs and improve infrastructure. Without a doubt, it will provide a short-term stimulus to the economically depressed region, but is that particular airport worth $2.5 million of taxpayer money?

Presque Isle is a nice little city (well, city by Maine standards) in Aroostook County. Its population in the 2000 census was 9,511. That's not a lot of people. Perhaps, though, one should judge whether the money is being spent wisely by how many flights go in and out of the airport per year.

That number? Not so big. Last year, the number of flights was 4,522. On average, that's about 12 a day, or $552 per flight.

Feel like your money is being well spent?

Cross-posted at The Greenroom.


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posted by Slublog at 10:14 AM

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